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Braunfeld v. Brown

Blue Laws/morality Laws

Blue laws seek to strictly legislate personal behavior in puritanical fashion, particularly on Sundays and holidays. The origin of the expression, "blue laws," goes back to 1781, and is attributed to Reverend Samuel A. Peters in his book, A General History of Connecticut. Peters coined the phrase, "blue laws," and makes reference to these laws supposedly in force in Connecticut. Some of the laws he named however, either didn't exist, or were less severe.

Blue laws became connected with New England's Puritans. In colonial America, similar restrictions on work, sports, and travel, and requirements to attend church on Sunday were common in the South as well as New England. Other blue laws have restricted the sale of alcohol and tobacco products on Sunday and holidays, or prohibit specific personal activities like dancing or playing cards.

Although some of these outdated laws are still on the books, many are not enforced today. In 1919 the federal government attempted to legislate the prohibition of alcohol altogether with the National Prohibition Act, the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It was repealed in 1933.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1954 to 1962Braunfeld v. Brown - Significance, Impact, Blue Laws/morality Laws